I don’t blog about technology all that often, but occasionally something appears which is sufficiently ground-breaking to merit a post. Blogging from 6.5 miles above the earth qualifies.
It was a pleasant surprise to discover that my American Airlines flight this evening from JFK to SFO is one of those graced with in-flight Internet service, courtesy of GoGo Inflight Internet (and a nice revenue-sharing deal with American Airlines, no doubt). It’s an even more pleasant surprise to report that the service is superb. I just tested my bandwidth and came up with a surprising 2.4Mb downstream (haven’t done an upstream test, but I just emailed a 12Mb file to a colleague who got it reasonably quickly).
To put it mildly, I suspect these services will have an immediate and profound impact on my personal inflight productivity. There are some silly For one thing, it will probably make “offline availability” a little less important for some of my company’s internal enterprise applications (NetSuite comes to mind, as does Sharepoint). Moreover, I’m in the middle of two negotiations, and it’s refreshing not to go dark on them for five hours while I fly across the country. Of course this service opens up all sorts of interesting etiquette questions. For example, my seat-mate and I exchanged cards and “nice to meet you” emails while aloft (total “send button to new mail bing-bong on other computer” time of 15 seconds, including two Exchange servers and two VPNs—impressive). Is the protocol to add each other to LinkedIn after the flight or during? And what about VOIP calls? (I’m pleased to report that GoGo says it’s blocking VOIP, a decision of which I’m heavily in favor.)
Of course, let’s not forget the side benefits. I’m listening to my “Office” Pandora stream (zero hiccups, credit both Pandora‘s excellent Flash app and GoGo) and tracking my flight location:
I’ll have to check the traffic back home before I land….